OXFORD — While Miami University students enjoyed their last weekend before spring semester began, the Eaton Band had the honor of filling their spots during the women’s and men’s basketball games against Eastern Michigan.
The students were asked to perform as the special guest band on Saturday, Jan. 27.
According to Eaton Band Director Paul Bingle, Miami University reached out to local schools to help out at select basketball games.
The Eaton Band had only one day to learn the university fight song and play along when requested from the team, but the rest of the music were selections they had been performing all season long, which required no additional practice. They provided music during media timeouts and the Miami Fight Song when needed during both games.
According to Bingle, most of the kids were more excited than nervous.
“I approached the students with the opportunity and many of them were very excited about playing. We had the interested students sign up for the game. There was no real need for extra practice due to the music being used at our own basketball games. We did spend a little time in class learning the Miami Fight Song. Students generally seemed excited and happy with the performance. There were some questions about doing it again next year,” Bingle said.
“The main thing I wanted them to take from the experience was performing at the next level. They play at basketball games all the time, but seeing it take place at the college level is a new experience. Dealing with the DJ, cheerleaders, and the media was new for them.”
Assistant Director Abby Hinson added, “It gave them an opportunity to see what it was like to perform at a college event.”
Eaton freshmen Emma and Katie Rich said their favorite part of the game was halftime, when the agility dogs came out to the court to perform tricks for the crowd. Jake White, also a freshman, said his favorite part was being able to sit courtside and watch the game from the best seats in the house. Libby Weimer, Eaton High School senior, got the chance to go onto the court and perform a dance with Swoop, the Miami Redhawk.
Bingle added, “It was a fun experience for me being an alumni of Miami (‘99) and having played in the pep band so many years ago. I have some really fond memories of those days and hope that this will be a fond memory for my students.”
For anyone who would like to see the band perform, they will hosting a free community concert on Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Eaton Performing Arts Center.